Being Inclusive During the Holidays

Teens around the US and around the world are being raised in houses with different ethnicities and religions. During the holidays, the main focus seems to be on Christmas, but not everyone celebrates it. Yes, there are GREAT YA Christmas books, I have read a bunch and they are cute, but I try to make sure that all holidays are included.

Being in Texas, the main holiday that is everywhere is going to be Christmas. As a Jew myself, it can feel like we are being pushed to the back burner and no one really knows what Hanukkah is about. There is also Kwanzaa that is celebrate around this time. I have done my best to not only include non-fiction titles in my library, but to take the time and find other holiday books that are set around teens and YA. Listed below are a few I have found. I make sure to make displays also every year with the other holidays included. Yes, we still have Christmas displays up, but we also have to remember to be inclusive to the other things being celebrated too.

Hanukkah: There is another post from 2018 that had Hanukkah YA books listed, but there have been a few published since then.
It’s A Whole Spiel by Katherine Locke- A short story anthology of teens celebrating Jewish holidays!

Eight Nights of Flirting by Hannah Reynolds- This one just came out and it is super cute!

The Golden Dreidel by Ellen Kushner- This one is more for middle grade, but it has a magic golden dreidel, what could be more fun than that?!



Kwanzaa: Living on Principle by Venus Jones- I learned so much from this book! It is a great look into this culture and how Kwanzaa is incorporated into her life. It also comes with activities to help promote unity. It is geared more toward adults, but I think teens can definitely learn a lot from this book.

Kwanzaa Klaus by James Henry- This is a really fun book for reading levels in elementary to adult. It is about a family where the dad messes up Christmas and decides to use Kwanzaa to try and make up for it. I liked that a family that didn’t celebrate Kwanzaa takes the time to learn about and rejoice in the holiday.


Multiple Holidays:

My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins with Multiple YA Authors- This is a really great anthology of short stories, with compilations for all different holidays. And it is all teens celebrating them!


And that’s what I’ve got. Hope you have a great holiday season, whatever you celebrate!


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